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6 Best Strength Exercises To Target Arm Cellulite

Strengthen, tone, and firm up those arms of yours!
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

If there's one subject that's not fun to think (or talk) about, it's arm cellulite. But that's what we're going to chat all about today, because it's an incredibly common issue that many of us deal with—especially as we get older. So we reached out to Kimberly Nuzie of Kimberly Nuzie Fitness, who boasts a BS in exercise science and MS in exercise science and nutrition, to get the scoop on the best strength exercises for arm cellulite.

When it comes to addressing arm cellulite (or cellulite anywhere on your body, for that matter), half the battle is establishing a solid exercise routine you'll stick with. Not only will it decrease fat, but it will also help you lose weight. It's important to know, however, that you cannot count on just doing cardio to get rid of or even reduce the appearance of cellulite. "In order to change the way your body stores fat, you need to build muscle which will firm and tighten the area making it appear smoother," Nuzie explains. "Fat is a very soft tissue that will cause the area to be loose and show more cellulite. When you build muscle it increases your metabolism and will burn more stored fat while changing the makeup of the tissue."

By incorporating strength training in your routine, you'll be able to tone this area of your body more effectively. You can combine resistance bands, weights, and even just your body weight for a minimum of three times each week to see a noticeable difference. "Cardio exercise can be done in addition to this, but it is important to make sure you are building muscle and changing your body composition," Nuzie adds.

If you're ready to learn all about the best strength exercises for arm cellulite, read on! And when you're finished, be sure to check out the 7 Best Strength Exercises To Melt Your "Armpit Pooch".


pushups illustration

"These are a great total-body exercise that hits your chest, biceps, and triceps," Nuzie says of pushups. "You can modify on your knees, but trying to complete at least one full pushup per set will help build your strength and stamina."

Set up for pushups by assuming a high plank—roll up to the balls of your feet and position your hands below your shoulders. Bend your elbows to lower your chest toward the floor, then press yourself back up to a high plank. Complete two to three sets of 10 reps.

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Tricep Dips

woman doing tricep dips

"This is another great bodyweight exercise that you can do anywhere," Nuzie tells us. "Really focus on the movement being in your arms and not your legs and hips moving your body up and down."

Set up for this exercise by sitting on a workout bench and planting your hands on the bench by the sides of your body. You can either walk your feet out a bit and keep your knees bent or totally extend them to make the dips more challenging. Bend your elbows to lower or "dip" your body toward the floor, then press yourself back up. Squeeze your triceps. Complete two to three sets of 10 reps.

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Bicep Curls

woman performing dumbbell bicep curls

"Make sure to find a weight that is challenging enough that it's difficult by the end of the set but you can still finish with proper form," Nuzie stresses.

To begin bicep curls, plant your feet hip-width apart, and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Your arms should be down at your sides with your palms facing ahead of you. Activate your abs, and curl the weights up toward your shoulders. Make sure your elbows remain close to the sides of your body. Then, use control to lower the dumbbells back to the start position before doing the next rep. Complete three sets of 12 reps.

Mountain Climbers

woman doing cross-body mountain climber exercises

"This will pack both cardio and strength into your routine," says Nuzie. "It will fire your core, back, shoulders, and arms."

Start mountain climbers by assuming a high plank with your hands under your shoulders and your legs out straight behind you. Quickly bring your left knee up to your chest before extending it and repeating with your right knee. Continue to alternate as if you're running in place. Complete three sets of 30 to 45 seconds.

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Lateral to Frontal Raise

lateral raise illustration

"Be sure to engage your core so you are not using the momentum of your upper body to complete this exercise," Nuzie tells us. "Lift the arms laterally first and without lowering back down, move them to a frontal raise."

To set up, stand tall with your arms at your sides, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Raise your arms out to your sides, and then immediately move them into a front raise. Then, lower your arms back down. Don't shrug your shoulders. Complete two sets of eight reps.

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Renegade Rows

woman performing dumbbell pushups to get rid of armpit fat

Last but not least, this list of the best strength exercises for arm cellulite wraps up with renegade rows. "Keep your core engaged and hips facing the floor the whole time," Nuzie instructs. "This will work on upper body strength and use the smaller stabilizer muscles."

Start renegade rows by getting into a high plank. Rise up to the balls of your feet, and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Lift one dumbbell off the ground, and bring it up to your chest, all while keeping that elbow close to your body. Lower the weight, and repeat on the opposite side. Complete two sets of 10 reps.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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